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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.3 National strategy on youth volunteering

Last update: 7 January 2021
On this page
  1. Existence of a National Strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority
  4. Revisions/ Updates

Existence of a National Strategy

With respect to youth volunteering there is not a standalone strategy to tackle youth volunteering.

There is no specific state legislation for youth volunteering, however, general regulation has been produced. As from 2015 there is a new Volunteer State Law 45/2015 (Ley 45/2015, de 14 de octubre, de Voluntariado) regulating state competences and offering companies, universities or Public Administrations the possibility of becoming a target audience for volunteers as well. The only mention to the youth population in the current law refers to the population under 18 years when it alludes to the needed permissions given by their tutors.


Stand-alone law

The law establishes a Volunteering Statute for volunteering entities and volunteers who participate or carry out volunteering programmes of state or supra-autonomic scope developed in Spain or abroad. This agreement is considered as the instrument of definition and regulation of relationships between volunteers and the volunteering entity.

Other relevant aspects to be pointed out from the Volunteer Law 45/2015 are the followings:

  • The rights of people benefiting from the volunteering activities are regulated.
  • Its article 14 accounts for rights and responsibilities of the volunteering entities.
  • The minimum age to become a volunteer is now 12.
  • The law establishes the scopes of volunteering actions: social, international of development cooperation, environmental, cultural, sports, of leisure and free time, communal and of civil protection.
  • Public Administrations as well as companies shall favour measures so that employed workers or public employees may carry out their volunteering activities.
  • New forms of volunteering.

When dealing with regulations on youth volunteering in Spain, the singularity of the territorial organisation has to be taken into account. Spain is conceived as a State of Autonomies, so that the specific features of youth volunteers shall be dealt with what autonomies have specifically legislated for youth volunteering.


Other official documents containing guidelines on youth volunteering

Apart from the laws already mentioned, there are other official documents with contents addressed to volunteering, regardless of the age of volunteers.

When taking on the requirements for the establishment of an entity whose purpose is volunteering, special attention shall be placed on the Law 43/2015 of the Third Sector of Social Action (Ley 43/2015, del Tercer Sector de Acción Social) that came into force the 11th of October of 2015. This Law regulates entities belonging to the Third Sector of Social Action, as it reinforces their capacity as a spokesperson before the General Government Administration in all the matters concerning social public policies and defines measures of promotion that the public powers may be able to adopt for their own benefit.

Youth Strategy 2020

The specific goals for youth are included in the Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020), which works as a reference framework for youth policies in Spain, with a timeframe going between the year 2014 to 2020. This Strategy, which amongst other dimensions relies on volunteering, is also a forward planning tool of the existing tendencies for the near future, and was approved by the Council of Ministers on 12th of September 2014 product of an interministerial initiative promoted by the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda. It incorporates an analysis framed within the breakdown of 6 goals and youth tendencies towards year 2020.


Scope and contents

Each Strategy counts on an Action Plan in order to achieve the desired goals. The action plans related to the compliance with the Youth Strategy 2020 are the following:

  • Action Plan 2014-2016: Budgets for 2014-2016 and mid-term evaluation in 2017.
  • Action Plan 2016-2020: Budgets for 2017-2020.

The action plans encourage both actions directly addressed to the promotion and support of volunteering and solidarity practice and those pursuing the consolidation of the volunteering movement, through the strengthening of NGO.

The Action Plan 2014-2016 places volunteering within the strategic axis no. 5, “Participation, Volunteering, Inclusion and Equality”. The main goals are:

  • Encouraging voluntary activity of youth especially that linked to ICT.
  • Fighting social exclusion from the least-favoured sectors of youth population
  • Fighting any type of violence or discrimination
  • Promoting equal opportunities

Actions in this matter are the following:

  • Management of the programme of the European Volunteering Service.
  • Fighting the exclusion of disabled people, socio-sanitary programmes, of employment and social inclusion.
  • Measures for equal opportunities and gender equality Promotion, of education for vulnerable groups, of corporate volunteering, of support for teachers and social workers in charge of minors, with legal measures funded by means of the personal income tax system (IRPF).

Responsible authority

The responsible authority is the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda. Each Autonomous Region has also its own authority, developing plans and strategies for action volunteering exclusively within its own territorial scope.


Revisions/ Updates

The National Reform Program of the Kingdom of Spain for the year 2019 (Programa Nacional de Reformas Reino de España 2019) announces the endorsement of the Action Plan 2019-2022. With the development of actions from the Action Plan scheduled for the next 12 months.